Housewife Slain in Her Home Still Remains Unresolved
It was January 3, 1977, when forty-six year old Doris Maxfield was found murdered at her home in the town of Thetford. At first, law enforcement thought she had died from natural causes. The Medical Examiner at the time ruled her death a homicide caused by asphyxiation by manual strangulation. Her lifeless body had been found on the kitchen floor of her Post Mills apartment by her husband. He had just returned home at 8:45 that Monday morning after he had finished driving a school bus. According to a newspaper article at the time of her death, she had been seen alive an hour earlier when her children left for school.
Originally, the regional medical examiner did not do an autopsy on Maxfield. He thought the death was a result of natural causes. A Vermont State Trooper (Danford O’Brien) became suspicious of marks on Maxfield’s neck and had the Chief Medical Examiner do an autopsy on her body. The case has remained cold for decades and it is unknown if there is a suspect. If you have any information about this case, you are urged to call the Vermont State Police at 802-241-5000. You can remain anonymous.
40 Years Later Plane and its Inhabitants Never Found
January 27, 1971 was the last time anyone saw pilots George Nikita, Donald Myers and his passengers Robert Williams, R. Kirby Windsor, and Frank Wilder on a twin-engine corporate jet. The men were heading to Providence, Rhode Island from Burlington, Vermont during a blizzard. Authorities believe that the plane with the five men went down in Lake Champlain shortly after take off. Radar lost track of the plane in the area of the Lake. To date the plane has never been recovered and the men’s remains are still missing. The three passengers worked for the Atlanta, Georgia real estate company Cousin’s Properties.
College Student Disappears Decades Ago.
According to those that knew her, 17 year old Lynne Schulze was a typical All-American girl enjoying her freshman year at Middlebury college in Middlebury, Vermont. On the afternoon of December 10, 1971, she was on her way to take an college exam. She told her friends that she had to go back to her dorm room and get a pen. She never made it to the exam. When her friends went to her dorm room, they noticed all of her belongings and her wallet were still there. There were unconfirmed sightings that the Simsbury, Connecticut native was seen hitchhiking on Route 7 southbound but it was never confirmed. At one time it was rumored that she had indicated to a friend in the fall of 1971 that she had considered dropping out of society and starting anew. More than 35 years later, her family has not heard anything from her. It seems likely that Schulze may have been a victim of foul play. If you have any information about the whereabouts of Lynne Schulze please contact the Middlebury, Vermont Police Department at 802-388-3191.
UPDATE: Accused murderer (3) Robert Durst is now a considered a strong person of interest in the disappearance and possible homicide of Lynne Schulze. More details to follow.
Abduction/Murder of Woman last seen in Vermont Still Unsolved
Twenty-six year old Leslie Spellman was last seen alive in the town of Barre, Vermont on June 18, 1977. she had been hitchhiking her way to Arcadia National Park in Maine. She was found bludgeoned to death at Asticou Azalea Gardens in Northeast Harbor the next morning. Her dog who she was travelling with was found a half mile away. It is possible that her killer may have picked her up and killed her in Maine. The case has been unsolved for over thirty years. If you have any information as to who may have abducted and killed Leslie Spellman, please call the Maine State Police at 800-432-7381.
Serial Killer Never Caught in Series of Brutal Murders
On August 6, 1988 Jane Boroski escaped death when she barely survived an attack from an unknown man just outside a small market in Swansea, New Hampshire. She was brutally stabbed twenty-seven times. It is believed that she is the lone survivor of a serial killer that killed at least six women. All six of the women were stabbed to death in the Connecticut River Valley near Route 91 in both Vermont and New Hampshire.
The victims were Mary Elizabeth Critchley, was found deceased in on August 9, 1981 in some woods that are located off of Unity Stage Road, in the town of Unity, New Hampshire.
Bernice Courtemanche, a 17-year-old nurse’s aide was last seen May 30, 1984 in West Claremont, New Hampshire. Her remains were found in Kellyville, New Hampshire on April 9, 1986.
Ellen Fried, a nurse was last seen in West Claremont, New Hampshire on July 20, 1984. Her remains were found in Kellyville, New Hampshire on September 19, 1985.
Eva Morse, a single mother was last seen hitchhiking after leaving her place of work on July 10, 1985 in Charlestown, New Hampshire. Her remains were located by a logger on April 25, 1986 in Unity, New Hampshire.
Lynda Moore, was murdered in her home outside of Saxtons River, Vermont, on May 15, 1986.
Barbara Agnew (pictured), a 36 year old nurse was missing for two months from a highway rest stop in Hartford, Vermont. She was found deceased near Advent Hill Road in Hartland, Vermont on March 28, 1987. All of these women were stabbed in similar areas and had their throats slit.
There are a few suspects in the murders and Boroski has indicated that one of these suspects physically matches the description of the person who attacked her.
During the time of the murders, Nicholaou lived in the Holyoke, Massachusetts. His wife at the time had relatives that lived in Vermont. His residence was also very close to Interstate 91. A few years ago in Florida, Nicholaou committed suicide after he killed his stepdaughter and wife. He is also believed to be responsible for the disappearance/murder of his former wife, Michelle Ashley (pictured far left). So far,
Nicholaou has only been proven to be responsible for two murders. However, as police continue to investigate his history, that may soon change.
Below are pictures of Michelle Nicholaou and picture of Michael Nicholaou paired with a sketch of the suspect that attacked Jane Boroski.
Murder of Rochester Man Still Unsolved
On November 17, 2001 twenty eight year old Dean Webster was found shot to death in the backyard of his home on Sky Hollow Road. He had been discovered deceased by a friend. Webster was last seen alive the previous afternoon by a neighbor. He lived by himself with two dogs. There is a five thousand dollar reward for information leading to the arrest of conviction of the person(s) responsible for his homicide. If you have any information about this case please call Detective Sgt. John Hagen at 802-234-9933 or call Crimestoppers at 1-800-427-8477.
For additional information about this case please visit the facebook page about this case at https://www.facebook.com/SolveVermontHomicides/
Suspicious Disappearance of Vermont Teen
Brianna Maitland, was eighteen years old when she was last seen leaving the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery, VT. It was Friday night, March 19th, 2004 and she just finished working there. Her vehicle, a green 1985 Oldsmobile was discovered the next day backed into an abandoned house about a mile away from where she was last seen.
Police believe that she did not run off and may have been a victim of foul play. She is described as being as five foot four and between 105 and 110 pounds. She has hazel eyes, with medium dark brown hair.
There is a $20,000 reward for information on her disappearance. $10,000 for anyone who can identify the exact location of Brianna may be buried. Another $10,000 for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the individual(s) that may be responsible for her disappearance.
If you have any information about this case you are urged to contact Vermont State Police Captain Glenn Hall at the Vermont State Police Headquarters at 802-244-8781. All calls can be confidential.
No Remains Found of Mother and Daughter That Were Murdered
One of the most infamous murder/disappearance cases in Vermont is the vanishing of 32 year old Grace Reapp and her five year old daughter Gracie Reapp. They were last seen at their residence at their Jericho, Vermont residence on June 6, 1978. Michael Reapp, the husband and father of the two filed a missing person’s report. Around a year later, he marries a second time and maintains custody of the couple’s two older sons. In 1996, after he moved to FLorida, he went missing after he was informed that Vermont Law Enforcement was digging around the property where his wife and daughter had last been seen. In June 7, 2010, it was learned that Michael Reapp has committed suicide back in 1997. He had been chased by police after he did an armed carjacking. Vermont State Police believe that Michael Reapp murdered both his wife and daughter. To date, they have not been found.
Human Skull Found and Police Want Answers
A resident in the town of Danby came across an unusual discovery on February 12, 2012. On the side of Danby Hill Road, he found a human skull. It was determined that the skull was female and thought to be that of a young caucasian (white) female. There were theories that pointed to the skull belonging to either Brianna Maitland, Maura Murray or Hedi Wilbur. All three were young white women who had gone missing in the last two decades within a reasonable distance of the discovery. The skull also showed signs of some trauma which indicated that it could have belonged to a victim of homicide. The investigation took an unusual turn when months later it was determined that the skull belonged to that of an Asian female between the ages of 15 to 40 years of age. Searches of the area where the skull was located provided no other clues or body parts. If you have information about who this female might be, please contact Vermont State Police at 802-442-5421.
Murder of Man Remains Unsolved Decades Later
It was April 19, 1980 when fifty-five year old Jan Rhein was found dead from a gunshot wound behind the a Forest Hills Store in the town of Winooski. For decades the murder of this father and ex-husband has gone unresolved. There was at one time a person of interest in this homicide case.
If you have any information about this case the Major Crimes Unit at the following website address http://vsp.vermont.gov/contact or at the phone number of 802-244-8781.
Gruesome Discovery and Questions Remain
A homeowner in Southeastern Vermont (near the New York & Massachusetts border) made a gruesome discovery in 1997. The homeowner’s dog had brought back human bones which included a skull and a femur. Despite several searches by police, no other bones were ever found. The Medical Examiner theorized that the bones belonged to a mentally retarded/handicapped adult white male. But not enough bones were found to determine a cause and manner of death. Carol Cielecki, an online member of the Doe Network (a group of online sleuths that match missing persons with unidentified persons/remains) had a hunch that the bones could belong to a New Jersey man that was missing since the mid-nineties. She made her suggestion to the Doe Network which contacted the Police. Law enforcement soon were able to prove through DNA matching that it was indeed Sean Cutler. A Carbon Monoxide poisoning accident at the age of seven had left Cutler severely handicapped, blind and unable to walk. He had been in the care of his father and not seen by other members of his family for years. In July of 1996, in the town of Wayne, New Jersey, a house fire had claimed the life of LEwis Cutler (his father) and William Spitzer of Clifton. Sean Cutler’s remains were not found in the fire and police believe that the fire was set, most likely by Lewis Cutler. Questions remain though, what really happened to Sean Cutler? Why was he buried in that part of Vermont? These answers may have died in the 1996 fire with Lewis Cutler.
Family Murder? Who Were They?
It is perhaps one of the oldest cold cases in Vermont’s history. In June of 1935, three human skeletons were discovered near Route 116 in the town of East Middlebury. They were an adult female possibly around the age of 45 and a two children, male around 14-16 years of age and a female around 10 years of age. To date, their identities have never been established. It is presumed that they may have come from some affluence as the male child had several thousands of dollars of unfinished dental work done on his mouth. According to news reports a hunter reported a terrible odor in the area back in 1932.
It is possible that the victims were family members and killed back then. Two of the bodies were laid out next to each other while the third was place on top of them at a right angle. The area was found off of a hillside trail in an area that did not see much human traffic. and police believed at the time that the three were murdered elsewhere. The three had been slain by a gunshot wound to the head by a .38 caliber type of weapon. Found near the victims was a striped awning, old automobile curtains and a woolen blanket. Over the years, it’s been theorized that the victims may have been Eastern European Jewish, Turkish or even Syrian. It is unknown if the case is still being investigated by the Vermont State Police.
Man Murdered on Side of Highway
It was June 16th, 1980 when the body of 25 year old Jan Albert Zepka was found deceased off the side of Interstate 91 in White River Junction 200 feet west of the highway. The Wethersfield, Connecticut native had died from a fractured skull and had his wallet and other valuables stolen. Police believe he may have been killed two days to four before he was found near an entrance/exit ramp to the highway. He had gone to Vermont to do some outdoor camping and he was found fully clothed. If you have any information about this case, please call the Vermont State Police Bureau at 802-244-8781.
Vigilante Murder? Case Cold as Townspeople Claim to know Nothing
Orville Gibson was a well to do farmer in the town of Newbury. The married dairy farmer disappeared in the wee hours of New Year’s Eve, December 31st of 1957 in the barn of his farm. Nearly three months later, the 47 year old’s body from the Connecticut River. His body had been bound. Suspicion would soon turn to a pair of local men who were rumored to have committed the crime due to Gibson severely beating a farmhand “for spilling milk” who had been in poor health. Witnesses had told police that Welch was near the barn before the murder and a rope of his was found on the victim.Robert “Ozzie” Welch and Frank Carpenter were soon charged with the murder because a witness had told police that Welch was near the barn before the murder and a rope of Welch’s was found on the victim.
The barn where Gibson had been seen had shown signs of a struggle but when Gibson’s body was found, there was little sign of him being beaten. The case would go to separate trials but but were both acquitted. Welch would die two months later from cancer. Some believe this was a case of a town committing vigilante justice. However, decades later, the truth may never be known.
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